8 tips and ideas for a sustainable Christmas

 


Is sustainable Christmas possible? Christmas is a symbolic date that marks a period of spiritual reflection, but also of excessive consumption . Every year, the party is marked by food waste, high generation of garbage and the purchase of many products with a reduced shelf life.

So, how about rethinking your habits and adopting a sustainable Christmas , which prioritizes conscious consumption and more ecological attitudes? This is also a way to influence your family members or people with whom you will share supper. Check out eight simple tips to have an eco-friendly Christmas , with respect for the environment!

1. Consume seasonal and local foods

Seasonal foods require fewer resources to produce compared to those of another season. They are more nutritious (as they are grown in the right climate) and come at a cheaper price, as they are in abundance at the time in question. Even better is to make a point of buying organic food .

During the Christmas period , in December, seasonal foods are usually: pineapple, plum, banana, cherry, green coconut, apricot, fig, raspberry, soursop, kiwi, pear orange, lemon, lychee, apple, mango, passion fruit , watermelon, melon, nectarine, peach, pomegranate, grape, chicory, chive, endive, fennel, grape leaf, mint, oregano, arugula, parsley, celery, zucchini, beetroot, carrot, mushroom, pepper, tomato and green bean -noodle.

Furthermore, the closer the consumption is to the place of production, the smaller the environmental footprint . By consuming products that are grown in the vicinity of residential areas, the pollution emitted by vehicles transporting goods is significantly reduced, as well as the losses resulting from the degradation of food in this process. The followers of the practice of consuming locally are called locavores.

2. Don’t put lights on live trees

Just like humans, Christmas trees need to “rest” during the night. The absence of light also played a role in the evolution of these beings, as well as the seasons. In winter, for example, the leaves fall to save the tree’s energy.

If it were summer all year round, the tree’s life expectancy would decrease, as greater efforts would be required to maintain its plant organism. By placing lights on trees, you prevent plant “rest”.

In addition, what is more serious, is that some people nail light bulbs directly to the trunk of trees, which can prevent the transport of nutrients and be fatal for the individual plant. In that case, a tree that would live 250 years could have its life reduced to just 30 years.

Prefer to decorate concrete environment. Do it safely (thinking about you and the house) and, when choosing ornamental light bulbs for your sustainable Christmas , give preference to LED light bulbs. They consume less energy and have several color options.

Another benefit they bring is that, unlike ordinary light bulbs, there is no problem in connecting several chains of LED lights together. Burning one of them will not affect the performance of the others. But remember that, at bedtime, everything must be turned off, to avoid fires.

3. Make your own ornaments or use live fruits and plants

Christmas coincides with summer, a time when, in almost all regions, it is rainy. Therefore, it is easy to find leafy plants that grow on sidewalks and will soon be removed by the city hall, as they are considered weeds.

But what on the sidewalk looks ugly, in a well-made arrangement, can look very beautiful. Note that on the sidewalks you can find beautiful flowers such as the small purslane and dandelion (don’t confuse the flower – yellow – with the seed pompom, which is white) and even foliage and small charming mosses. Some of these ruderal plants are even edible, such as dandelion and purslane, being called unconventional food plants.

In addition to this type of plant, you can use real fruits and leaves to make sustainable Christmas wreaths, wreaths and decorative items . How about using cherries, slices of dried fruit like lemon and rosemary leaves? In addition to being biodegradable, they are elegant, personalized and contain the natural scent of rosemary. Much better than the plastic alternatives that gather dust in the closet and take years to decompose after being discarded.

You can apply this when setting up your Christmas tree. Instead of buying plastic trees or cutting down real pine trees, how about putting together a sustainable option? You can make this using dried leaves, a plant from your house, recycled materials, and even old fabrics and clothes. Put your creativity into play and try to recycle and reuse as many objects as possible on your Christmas tree .

4. Need packing? So use creativity

These days there is no excuse for wrapping gifts using plastic. In place of this type of packaging, you can use cardboard bags (offered in some stores), fabrics, personalized glass jars (to be reused), newspaper, cardboard boxes, eco-bags, string, cloth ribbons and, best of all, all: packaging none. The correct packaging is essential for a sustainable Christmas !

5. Learn a vegan recipe and share it

According to the information in the summary of the IPCC report, the human population needs to adhere to a new food model. This new model suggests a reduction in the consumption of livestock products, such as beef, pork and animal milk. This change in the dietary model is economically, socially and environmentally healthy and could result in reduced risk of morbidity and mortality due to overconsumption.

Intake of animal protein (including fish) has a greater socio-environmental impact compared to a vegetarian diet and is less healthy in terms of the amount of pesticides and other harmful substances.

6. Do you go shopping? Take purse or eco bag!

When it’s time to do your Christmas shopping (if you really need it), it’s the same story as at the market: take your returnable bag or purse. After all, by logic, sellers will deliver their items in different packages and, at the end of the shopping, there will be no fingers to hold so many bags.

7. Share experiences, not things

It is true that it is quite cultural in our country to give objects as Christmas presents . If you think this is the best option and that it will be well used by the recipient, great. But what about when the present is a mere formality and, once opened, the person forgets it somewhere?

In this sense, it would be more worthwhile to have provided the person with a more valuable experience. A unique experience enhances enjoyment and provides memories for a lifetime.

You can offer an experience for your children by donating your time and a park, or an unusual game. Instead of buying something material to give as a Christmas present , try to offer experiences. Maybe a massage in an amazing place, a trip, a course, a show, skydiving, etc. You can buy gift certificates and let the person choose if you’re not sure what they like.

8. Give a conscious gift

If at the end of the day you decided to buy things, choose eco-friendly products. If you are going to give away clothes, prefer those from slow fashion. If it’s another type of gift, prefer locally produced products that value workers in the production chain, vegan and that have a lighter footprint.

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